Hello folks who sometimes question the intentions of praying mantids because they pray with their eyes open,

European Paper Wasps have figured out one of the ingredients in the secret recipe for a successful startup i.e. having multiple founders. Unlike family run businesses(Don't roll your eyes Honey Bees!), these wasps can have multiple-foundress which are not related in establishing a colony. This is important in startups as well, in case one of the founders goes rogue, missing or gets addicted to playing Fortnite/Pokémon GO, the business can still carry on. The advantages of having multiple-foundress includes increased productivity and increased rate of survival with 47% survival for single-foundress as compared to 100% survival for a colony with 2 or more foundress according to one study conducted in 2015.

Even though there are multiple-foundress, one female wasp will act as the dominant one while the others get the role of subordinates. The benefits of being the dominant female, is they rarely leave the nest, get to be the primary egg layer and also get to choose which series to watch on Netflix in the living room while the others simply have to abide.

These wasps live life in the fast lane, setting up shop in early spring and vacating the shop by fall. Here is a single-foundress setting up the colony by herself. Their nest is made of 78% wood fibre and 22% saliva. The wood fibers are produced by gnawing on the wood of weathered fences and other man made wooden structures.

They will lay their eggs on the sides of the cells as shown in the video below.

Once the larva hatch out of their eggs they simply sit in their cells calling for attention. The adult wasps will feed them insects like caterpillars and sawfly larvae. These larvae have a voracious appetite and will develop rapidly. Below are a few larvae sitting helplessly in their cells waiting to be fed. The one at the bottom right always asks for frosted flakes and soda for its meals, sugar all the time is not healthy, someone tell this kid!

Once they eat their fill and are ready to embrace the 9 - 5 work life, they will close their cells so they will no longer get fed. Inside the cell they will pupate to transform into an adult wasp. Below is a pupa reminiscing about the crazy things it did in its freshmen year.

Below is an adult female emerging from its cell. You can distinguish its gender by the yellow line on its forehead which looks like a unibrow.

Below is an adult male emerging from its cell. You can tell it apart from females by the yellow color dominating its head and the absence of those pig nose features.

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